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Relevant Aspects of MSM-Sexuality for Health Care Professionals

Relevant Aspects of MSM-Sexuality for Health Care Professionals

Introduction and objectives: The average health care
professional (HCP) has very little knowledge of the
sexual life of men who have sex with men (MSM).
However, MSM-lifestyle and aspects of sexuality are
strongly influenced by cancer, by chronic disease and
by many medical interventions (far more than happens
in mainstream men). HCPs who don’t know and
understand the differences with their mainstream male
patients will not be able to provide optimal care to
their MSM patients. The objective is to offer insight in
various aspects of MSM- lifestyle, MSM-relationships
and MSM sexual behavior.
Methods: Information was gathered from the literature,
from the practice of some gay HCPs and from
EMIS. EMIS is the 2010 European MSM internet survey
that has been answered by >180.000 men. That combination
of information was then approached from the perspective
of diseases, cancer and medical interventions.
Findings & discussion: There are huge differences
for instance in the percentage of MSM who have come
out, and in the amount of non-steady partners. Most
HCPs neither are aware of the importance of semen in
the sexual play of MSM, nor of the importance of prostate
orgasm, and many are scared to address the
differences between the top-man (the ‘inserter’ in anal
sex) and the bottom-man (the ‘receiver’). All those
practical realities have consequences when the MSM
for instance suffers from a chronic disease or needs
treatment for cancer. As a results of their lifestyle with
more open relationships, MSM contract more sexual
transmitted diseases and that changes also their cancer
incidence profile.
Recommendations: With this additional knowledge
HCPs will realize that the question ‘Who do you have
sex with?’ is relevant in clinical practice and a prerequisite
to be able to offer good care.
Keywords: MSM, Sexual life-style, EMIS
Conflict of Interest and Disclosure Statement: None